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Nostalgia For A World Where We Can Live

Monica Berlin's Nostalgia for a World Where We Can Live resides at the turbulent confluence of relentless news cycles and the repeated rending of our interior lives. In Berlin's poetry, sorrow makes its own landscape - solitary, intimate, forward-looking. Whether we attempt to traverse it or choose to bypass, her poems show us where we live, how we carry on.

nostalgiaberlin.jpg

These poems notice the day in the wind, the night tucked up to the train tracks, and a slipping-in of yesterday, memory-laden, alongside the promise of a more hopeful tomorrow. Here is the Midwest, vibrant and relic, in the ongoing years of collapse and recovery. Here the constant companionship of weather lays claim to its own field of vision. Here, too, devastation: what's left after. Berlin reminds us we are at the mercy of rivers, oceans, earth, wind, rain, blizzard, drought, and each other. "Maybe what I mean/to say is that I've come to see all the names we might/recognize destruction by," Berlin's speaker discovers. "We might/sometimes, stupidly, call it love."

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A Berlin work-in-progress from 2015:

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Monica Berlin is a professor of English at Knox College in Illinois.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on October 24, 2018


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